Pictures: Local surgeons separate Siamese twins

SURGEONS in Zimbabwe have performed their second successful operation to separate Siamese twins after the first historic feat carried out in 1983.


The latest operation, which was carried out by a team of 50 doctors and nurses at Harare Children’s Hospital last week Tuesday, separated Kupakwashe and Tapiwanashe Chitiyo born on April 22 sharing the same liver.

The Chitiyo boys, whose father Moses (44) is a vegetable vendor based at Murewa Business Centre, were conjoined from the lower chest to the upper abdomen.

Siamese twins Kupakwashe and Tapiwanashe Chitiyo were born on April 22 sharing the same liver.
Siamese twins Kupakwashe and Tapiwanashe Chitiyo were born on April 22 sharing the same liver.

They were delivered at Murewa District Hospital through Caesarian Section and later transferred to Harare Hospital.

Pediatric surgeon Bothwell Mbuwayesango, who was the team leader, told NewsDay yesterday that it took them eight hours and a lot of work and dedication to conduct the operation successfully.

“We managed to separate the two successfully and this was through teamwork,” Mbuwayesango said. “We had close to 50 doctors, nurses, assistants . . . we needed everyone — even the cleaners  —to be able to separate the twins properly.”

Pediatric surgeon  Bothwell Mbuvayesango.
Pediatric surgeon Bothwell Mbuvayesango.


Mbuwayesango said such operations needed proper planning for them to be successful.

“We worked together very well and the team was all inclusive of Zimbabwean doctors — there was no help from outside,” he said.
“The twins are separated and are currently in the intensive care unit where they are feeding and breathing on their own, but we still have them in hospital for a while.”

Theatre matron Cathrine Charumbira said: “We are humbled to have conducted such a surgery in our institution and we are happy that it went on smoothly.”

Kupakwashe and Tapiwanaishe currently weigh 4,4kgs and  3,4kgs, respectively.

Tapiwanashe Chitiyo.
Tapiwanashe Chitiyo after the operation.

Health and Child Care deputy minister Paul Chimedza said there was need to acquire proper equipment for the doctors so that they can perform well.

“We are happy to have such an operation conducted here and we congratulate the team for such  work well done,” Chimedza said.

The mother of the twins Agnes Mongoro (25) could not hide her joy at seeing her sons coming out of the theatre room alive and breaking new medical ground.

“I didn’t know they could be separated, but after counselling I accepted and here they are — separated.”

Kupakwashe Chitiyo.
Kupakwashe Chitiyo.

The twins’ father said: “When I was told that my wife had given birth to conjoined twins, I accepted it and when I saw the kids, they looked healthy that is when we came this side.

“We just prayed for the children. This is the work of the Lord to have had the two boys successfully separated.”

The couple has two other children aged four and 19 months, respectively.

Agnes Mongoro, the mother of the two boys, checks on Kupakwashe after the surgery.
Agnes Mongoro, the mother of the two boys, checks on Kupakwashe after the surgery.

The development could see many parents saving money for trips to South Africa and India where such operations are mostly done.


  1. Indeed breaking new ground. God bless everyone who contributed to the success of this operation! Am proud being Zimbabwean after all!

  2. Kuhle lokhu I salute everyone involved surely there is light at the end of channel I’m humbled.let’s support and sebethulele isigcobo amadoctors enze lokhu

    1. correction – at the end of the tunnel

  3. How is the liver shared after the op

    1. OK have the sme question like what I have as well.I think liver is more delicate than an part of the body which can be operated and can heal.In a way these doctors managed to separate the two but knowing that one day they will pass on.If the liver has been cut and shared between the two how is the healing going to be done.Could the professionals please enlighten me on this.I am of the opinion that they should have saved one and abominably destroy the other side.
      Sorry if I am sounding inhumane.

      1. liver is the only organ that can re-generate. Please dont be cruel lets praise God for this wonderful act

      2. Kat – It will grow back.  The liver will actually grow back a couple of weeks after removing it.  It’s really phenomenal. In the case of cancer patients you can remove 50-60% of someone’s liver and it will grow back.

      3. “The human liver is one of the few organs in the body that can regenerate from as little as 25 percent of its tissue,” says Seth Karp, assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and main author of the study. “It is not known how the liver does it, but our results provide some details of what makes the liver so unique.”
        Although organ regeneration has been observed in many animals, the details of how it happens at the cellular level are still not completely understood. So far, scientists have shown that cells that participate in tissue regeneration behave as if they were part of a growing organ in an embryo. In other words, the cells act as if the liver is growing, as do other organs in a developing embryo.

    2. zvamutsanamuchuru

      what do you mean ‘how is the liver shared after the op’. Ok Zim if you have nothing to say plz shut up. instead of thanking the Lord God for the giving the medical team wisdom to carry out such a complicated op you are here talking nonsense.

      I salute the team that did this wonderful job. To the twins i say the Lord God is with you.

      1. I think you misunderstood him, he is also shocked I guess bcoz, the twins shared a single liver, how did they share it, inini I was also wondering but ndazonzwawo kuti if shared it grows back.

      2. well said..will keep them in our prayers.

    3. The liver is the only human internal organ capable of natural regeneration of lost tissue; as little as 25% of a liver can regenerate into a whole liver.[9] Regeneration is very rapid. The liver will return to a normal size in one to two weeks following the removal of greater than 50% of the liver by mass. Check with

  4. may God bless you for the job well done,you have restored confidence in our local surgeons.

  5. May the Great Lord be praised for the wisdom he gave to the doctors for the successful operation. The Great lord is going to look after the kids well for the sake of us to give praise to him. May the kids enjoy good health.

  6. Why should we go to other countries for simple medical operations when such a complicated operation can be performed locally? I salute our surgeons!

  7. Why should we go to other countries for simple medical operations when such complicated operations can be performed locally? Lets have confidence in our health institutions.

  8. Well done. You made Zimbabwe proud. Long Live Zimbabwe…

  9. Zimbabwe can & always will succeed, God willing. M proud of thoz guyz….they sure deserve a SCALPEL each kikiki

  10. Lets be proud of the work performed by our fellow Zimbabweans. We salute you the team. Keep it up. I know with the availability of proper equipment you can do better.

  11. ALLAHU AKBAR ,GOD IS THE GREASTEST ,the Lord has blessed the twins with great abundance and the twins will grow healthly and being strong. Thank you medical team for kindness and may the Lord of the worlds grant you more wisdom and may you continue to do your service for eveyone.

  12. Well done Zim. Kudos to Mbuvayesango & team. Its not the doctors that l really really salute because we have produced excellent Dr’s in the past & continue to do so. Its the medical facilities that were able to contain the operation. The clinical & sterile standards required that were followed to achieve it is what is astounding. Good news to come from our scorched earth country.
    This country needs to just do & achieve high standards of excellence in all our endevours, medical, technical & political.

  13. May the Lord who sustained the lives of the kids during the operation heal the kids. Whatever you wanted to teach Heavenly Father, I cant wait to ask you when I am Face to Face with you, why you could allow such complicated scenarios.

    1. Hatifaniri kungotukana nando, the two guys were simple asking for their little medical knowledge and you here someone calling them names. We all do not have the same level of knowledge and there is nothing wrong with that. Lets respect each other as a people.

      1. I give glory to God for allowing the medical team to do such wonderful work. Thanks to the team and those who funded the op for the good work.

        Just like Ok zim, for interest’s sake, how did they operate the liver if the two had one? I believe in miracles and God has wrought many miracles in my life and this is sure one miracle. How did you do it on the liver blessed team?

  14. My mother told not to outer foolishly if ii dont know,Ok Zim,praise God for this feat,and wish the Children a quick recovery,not to wish unwishful thinking.go and research.

    1. Please doc, do not be arrogant on this issue, lest you dilute the good work that your counterparts did. It is no offense to ask. Kuziva mbuya huudzwa. May be the way OK Zim asked was not good for you guys. Please, find it in you to forgive. Knowledge is a gift and to share is divine. We are not the same! Help the nation, let’s share the information. Tinotodawo kuziva mudikani.

  15. Well done…this was a great achievement by all the medical personnel and hospital staff. You have done the nation proud and we celebrate this success with you.

  16. job well done guys god bless the children n give long life

  17. surely you think vanhu ava, learned as they are would do something zvekungozoti vana vazofa ava? daaaar.. everyone knows the liver grows back. strange to you don’t. you wanted the other killed woda kuvadya here?

    1. This is good. The epitaph of what good will and humanitarian work can achieve. Hats off to the surgeons and hospital staff.

  18. “We managed to separate the two successfully and this was through teamwork,” Mbuwayesango said. “We had close to 50 doctors, nurses, assistants . . . we needed everyone — even the cleaners —to be able to separate the twins properly.”

    WELL SAID Mr Wadesango, thats great leadership. u have to appreciate each and every hand i. wish the so called war veterans could also appreciate the contribution of every zimbabwean in the liberation struggle including school children. ( who usually pointed the direction our enemies who have gone)

  19. May God richly bless all those who contributed to this cause.

    1. mabwinye bruce

      well done god bless u did a wonderful job

  20. Thank you all people out there for the support and solidarity you have shown to colleagues here who have done what we are trained for.With such support we look forward to improving our health facilities and enhance specialist skills in our medical personnel so that most if not all surgical procedures are done locally.Harare Children ‘s Hospital will be the centre for further specialist interventions.

  21. Zechariah 4:6 KJV

    Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Bothwell Mbuvawasango, Agnes Mangoro & the operation team , saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

    Without the help of God this not gonna be a success , mother of the twins, doctors , cleaners everyone who was part of this praise God for His mighty works , only the father of the twins gave his gratitude to God keep it up Mr man always praise the Almighty for His works in your life He is going to do much more for you

  22. to God be the glory

  23. Thank you Lord for this successful operation. I wish all the best to the twins, quick healing & recovery. God is with you.

  24. Well done Mr Mbuwayesango and team.A simple answer for people asking about the liver. The babies shared a liver. This liver was cut into two,leaving each twin with a portion of liver.The liver regenerates if part of it is removed.

  25. job,well done

  26. Thank you God ,the future is nt ours to see ,it seems imposible until it’s done am happy for the parents.

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